Short Story Highlight: “Ghost Girl” by Lauren Beukes

Our first story highlight for the year! You can click on the Short Story Highlight tag to see previous posts, where we highlight various stories by international writers.

Fantasy Magazine starts off the season, with South African writer Lauren Beukes‘ story, Ghost Girl:

You think of a city as a map, all knotted up in the bondage of grid lines imposed by town planners. But really, it’s a language—alive, untidy, ungrammatical. The meaning of things rearranges. The scramble of the docks turns hipster cool and the inner city’s faded glamour gives way to tenement blocks rotting from the inside. It develops its own accent, its own slang.

Sometimes it drops a sentence. Sometimes the sentence finds you. And won’t shut up.

I’m walking through the gardens on my way to an exhibition on Pancho Guedes, the crazy post-modern Mozambican-Portuguese architect, because that’s my major if you hadn’t guessed (only 3 ½ years to go). A voice drifts down out of a tree and says, “Hey, cute student guy, wait up…”

A girl drops down from the branches where she’s been perching like some tree frog in black. She starts strolling along behind me, imitating my walk like a bad mime.

I turn, irritated. “What are you doing?”

“Attaching,” she says. “It’s what the dead do when they get lonely.” – continue reading!



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